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CBCP Monitor vol14-n11

CBCP Monitor vol14-n11

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Published by cbcpmonitor
- Show proof, whistleblowers told
- Catholic Church not identified with any political party, Vatican official states
- Aquino urged to pick a person of integrity as environment secretary
- Values are more important than language, prelate says
- PPCRV declares RP elections ‘clean’
- Show proof, whistleblowers told
- Catholic Church not identified with any political party, Vatican official states
- Aquino urged to pick a person of integrity as environment secretary
- Values are more important than language, prelate says
- PPCRV declares RP elections ‘clean’

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 Vol. 14 No. 11
May 24 - June 6, 2010
Php 20.
Illustration by Bladimer Usi
World needs realChristians in politicsand society, says Pope
By Roy Lagarde
THE HEAD of the Catholic Bishops’Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)called on individuals to drop claimsof poll cheating if they don’t haveenough proof.
According to Bishop Nereo Odchimar, such al-legations are creating a cloud of “confusion” and“doubt” on the credibility of the recent automatedlocal and national elections.Odchimar said it is unfair for the people whocasted their ballots and those who helped protectthe credibility of the votes to be countered withambiguous accusations made on national televi-sion.The CBCP head also challenged those who havedirect knowledge about massive election cheatingto come out in the open and show evidence, if theyhave any.“We should bring out solid proofs to back upaccusations and allegations,” Odchimar said overChurch-run Radyo Veritas on May 23.And if allegations of poll fraud are based on“solid grounds,” then the issue, he said, must beseriously taken and investigated.“If there is evidence, it should be in investigatedto put the minds of the people at rest,” he added. 
‘Koala bear’
It was at “The Forum”, a media discussion orga-nized by the CBCPNews and the Catholic MediaNetwork (CMN), where a video of the maskedwhistleblower, now known as “koala bear” was
rst shown.
But organizers denied holding the forum just forthe presentation of the video.The supposed witness said votes for presidentialcandidates Gilbert Teodoro, Joseph Estrada andBro. Eddie Villanueva were shaved in favor of a“paying client”.The masked, bespectacled man claimed that thevote-padding and -shaving was supposedly madeto favor “dilaw” (yellow), apparently in referenceto presidential frontrunner Benigno Aquino III.The anonymous whistleblower added that cheat-
The News Supplementof Couples for Christ
CBCP assures Aquino of critical collaboration
THE Catholic hierarchy on has assured a ‘criti-cal collaboration’ with the administration ofpresidential frontrunner Benigno Aquino III.According to the head of the Catholic Bish-ops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), the
church would always support efforts to ght
poverty and corruption.Tandag Bishop Nereo Odchimar, CBCP presi-dent, said the bishops will work closely with thegovernment in building a just society.“We will collaborate in those things which aregood for the welfare of the people,” Odchimar
Collaboration / A6
Patronage politics derail Arroyo’s economic programs
HAD it not been for patronage politics thatcharacterized her presidency, the country couldhave gained from the infrastructure and eco-nomic programs initiated by President GloriaMacapagal-Arroyo, a Mindanao bishop said.Cotabato Auxiliary Bishop Jose Colin Baga-foro said Arroyo had “a clear 10-point agendawhich guaranteed infrastructure and economicprograms” but patronage politics got in theway.In an interview with Radio Veritas, the 56year-old prelate said the Filipino custom of
Politics / A6
Show proof,
whistleblowers told
The Conclusionof theYear for Priests
Proof / A6
IN his address to Pope Benedict XVI during the 24th full assembly of
the Pontical Council for the Laity, Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, presi
-dent of the dicastery, said, “The Church does not identify herself withany one political party or system,” but “she appreciates the work ofthose who dedicate themselves to the service of the common goodand assume the weight of these responsibilities.”Cardinal Rylko said the Church sees the lay faithful's involve-ment in politics as “a noble vocation” that is “a great expression ofcharity.”
Catholic Church not identied with any political party, Vatican ofcial states
“Lay Christians involved in the public life should receive the
necessary formation to be able to bear witness to their faith in JesusChrist with courageous coherence because it is by being faithful tothemselves, to their own baptismal identity, that the can truly bringabout a renewal in political life,” Cardinal Rylko said.In commenting on the call of the Holy Father to reach out to thenew generation of Catholic politicians, the cardinal said, “Today itis truly urgent that politics regain its own soul, thus recovering themeaning of service to the common good, rebuilding a moral sensi-tivity and a solid foundation of shared values, promoting above allthe concept of a truly open secularism that is not hostile to God orfearful of allowing him to enter public life.”The task includes “defending the human person, his dignity, histranscendent vocation and his inalienable rights, rooted in the naturallaw and thus non-negotiable,” he stated.At the conclusion of his remarks Cardinal Rylko announced that
the Congress of Lay Asian Catholics would take place August 31-September 5.
THE chairman of the Episcopal Com-
mission onv Youth and Legazpi Bishop
 Joel Baylon said he is more concerned ofthe youth’s values on chastity, decency,and honesty more than theirlanguage.Baylon, in an interviewover Radio Veritas said heis more anxious of theyouth’s values and itseffect on their livesrather than theirlanguage.“I am moreworried of howthe youth reactedto the recent politi-cal exercise whichwas characterized
A CATHOLIC Church-backed poll watchdog said the Philippines’ rst full auto
-mated election was done squarely, despite some “discrepancies” in the results.The Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) said they foundsome 29 discrepancies so far between the electronically transmitted data and theelection returns ERs.The Commission on Elections-accredited is currently conducting its manualencoding of election returns to validate the automated results at the Pius XIICenter in Manila.
Liberal Party (LP) bet Senator Benigno Aquino III, the apparent winner of the
May 10 presidential polls, continues to enjoy huge lead over his eight other op-ponents.
In the vice presidential race, LP’s Sen. Manuel Roxas continue to ght tooth and
nail over his rival Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay who continue to lead by around800, 000 votes as of May 19.But the opposition has allegedfraud and demanded the pollresult be investigated.The election was held less thana week after the poll body recalledmore than 76,000 memory cardsfrom voting machines used in thenational and local polls after testsfound they failed to read ballotsand print accurate results.
Some religious leaders and civil
society leaders have long raisedconcern the untested system leftdoor open for vote fraud thatcould lead to instability and civilunrest.According to PPCRV chair-person Henrietta De Villa thediscrepancies found were “toominor” to conclude that the elec-tion was rigged.“There’s no pattern (of pollcheating). We’ve found no sys-tematic attempts of fraud. If there
PPCRV declares RPelections ‘clean’ 
ENVIRONMENTAL groups urged president-elect Beni
-gno Aquino to appoint a new environment secretary ofunquestionable integrity and who will put environmentalprotection as main agenda of government policy.The groups came up with a ten point criteria which they
hoped Aquino will consider in his choice of a person to ll
up the position.Kalookan Bishop Deogracias Iniguez has endorsed thecriteria presented by the groups saying Aquino should pickthe ablest person who can lead the agency.“We are optimistic that Noynoy will pick the best personwho can lead and shepherd the department towards thepath of environmental stewardship, renewal and justice to
serve the common good and not only the selsh interest of
a few,” Iñiguez said.
 Aquino urged to pick a person of integrity as environment secretary 
Roy Alvarez, president of Eco Waste Coalition, said the
10-point criteria meant “to help the incoming President nd
and install [an able] leader who will genuinely championenvironment protection and push for a truly sustainabledevelopment agenda in words and deed."Congratulating the new president, the groups said theylook forward to Aquino’s presidency hoping it will bringabout a “new era of transformational leadership and greengovernance.”Aquino during his campaign has committed to strictlyenforced “the country’s environmental laws such as the
Clean Air Act and the Ecological Solid Waste Manage
-ment Act.”He also promised his government will put a stop in the
Values are more important than language, prelate says
by vote-buying,” the prelate said.The bishop said the statement whenasked of his reaction on popular youth-speak known as jejemon that proliferatein the internet’s social networking sitesand cellphone texting.The term is acombination of“jeje” that camefrom “hehe”where “h” ischanged with“j” and “mon”from the cartoonshow “Poke-mon” meaningmonster.A definitionfrom website ur-bandictionary.com describes jejemonsas those who have “low tolerance in cor-rect punctuation, syntax and grammar”and bent on undermining the Englishlanguage “to the point of incompre-hensibility.”Baylon, however, thinks it is simply away for young people to express them-selves comparative to fads that havecome and gone.The prelate said if one could compre-hend what is being said by the youngpeople, nobody can force youngsters totalk in a conventional way.
“Language is merely an expression of
experience and what is more importantare the values behind the language andthe principle that shapes the person’s
Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal signs a copy of his biography book‘Via Veritatis – The life and ministry of Ricardo Cardinal J. Vidal” during aceremony in Cebu City on May 25 where he marked the 25th anniversary of his elevation to the cardinalship. Vidal is the fourth Filipino cleric to becomemember of the college of cardinals.
   ©   S  a  m  m  y   N  a  v  a   j  a   ©   R  o  y   L  a  g  a  r   d  e   /   C   B   C   P   M  e   d   i  a
PPCRV Chairperson Henrietta de Villa
Integrity / A6Values / A6Clean/ A6
 Vol. 14 No. 11
May 24 - June 6, 2010 
CBCP Monitor
 World News
Pope explains importanceof common good
VATICAN CITY, May 24, 2010—The common good is what gives meaning to progress, protectingdevelopment from possible negative consequences, says Benedict XVI.
The Pope afrmed this Saturday when he received members of the Centesimus Annus Pro Pontice
Foundation, which promotes the social doctrine of the Church.He explained that progress would be “limited to the sole production of material goods” if it werenot oriented toward the common good.
“Progress and development are necessary,” the Holy Father afrmed, “but if they are not oriented
to the common good, they lead to the negative consequences of the prevalence of consumerism, waste,poverty and excess.”
However, the Pontiff claried that the common good is not a single goal, but rather a composite
of many goods, material, cognitive, institutional, moral and spiritual, the latter two being of highestimportance.“The commitment to the common good of the family of peoples, as for every society, entails, therefore,
taking care of and of making use of a complex of institutions,” he claried.
In this regard, the priority that will ensure development for all peoples is “to do one’s utmost to
recognize the true scale of goods-values,” Benedict XVI reected. “Only thanks to a correct hierarchy
of human goods is it possible to understand what type of development must be promoted.”
All aboard
Certain principles guide the way for integral human development, the Pope continued, naming“subsidiarity and solidarity, as well as the interdependence between state, society and market.”
Bishops in Englandand Wales condemnabortion ads on TV
LONDON, England, May 23, 2010—The Catholic Bishops’ Con
-ference in England and Wales has condemned TV ads promot-ing abortion services that recently aired throughout the UnitedKingdom, charging that the “exploitative promotion” of abortionis not “in the interests of the health or psychological well-beingof women.”
Marie Stopes International, a self-described non-prot orga
-nization for sexual and reproductive health, will run TV ads forabortion services throughout the U.K. as part of their “Are youlate?” campaign which is set to air until June 4.“We hope the new ‘Are you late?’ campaign will encouragepeople to talk about abortion more openly and honestly, and
empower women to make condent, informed choices abouttheir sexual health,” said Dana Hovig, CEO of Marie Stopes
International on May 20.On Thursday, a spokesperson for the bishops condemnedthe ads, stating that “services which offer or refer for abortion
– whether commercial or not-for-prot organizations – should
not be allowed to advertise on broadcast media.”“Abortion is not a consumer service,” the spokesperson added.“To present it as such erodes respect for life and is highly mis-leading and damaging to women, who may feel pressured intomaking a quick decision, which can never be revoked.”“Moreover, to allow the broadcasting advertising of abortion-referral services is, in effect, to allow the exploitative promotionof these services and is not in the interests of the health or psy-chological well-being of women.“The Bishops of England and Wales encourage and supportwomen to make informed choices about their emotional, psycho-logical and physical well-being,” the statement continued, addingthat the bishops “support a number of charities which do this, in
particular the organization called ‘LIFE’ which offers conden
-tial information, counseling and practical help and support forwomen contemplating abortion, suffering after pregnancy lossor struggling to cope after abortion.”
 John Smeaton, director for the U.K.-based Society for theProtection of Unborn Children (SPUC), likewise condemnedthe ad campaign, charging that “Marie Stopes may claim to bea non-prot organization, but they have a nancial interest in
drumming up demand for abortion.”
Smeaton added that the pro-abortion organization has a history
of displaying a “cavalier attitude to obeying legal restrictionsregarding abortion, and has been implicated in illegal abortionsoverseas.”
“Although Marie Stopes claims to be a charity helping wom
-en,” he noted, “its huge multi-national revenue means it canafford TV advertising, which is hugely expensive. This creates
an unfair playing eld, as pro-life groups simply cannot afford
any such advertising.”“Allowing abortion to be advertised on TV will lead tomore unborn babies being killed and to more women and
girls suffering the after-effects of abortion,” Smeaton under
-scored. “Abortion ads will trivialize abortion. It is an insult
to the hundreds of women hurt by abortion every day. Such
ads are offensive and will mislead viewers about the realityof abortion.”The ads have already been banned in Northern Ireland, wherethe United Kingdom’s Abortion Act of 1967 does not apply.
Receives group that promotes Church’s social doctrine
“In a global society, made upof many peoples and variousreligions, the common good andintegral development is obtainedwith the contribution of all,” he
And in this effort, the HolyFather contended, religion is de-cisive, “especially when it teachesfraternity and peace, and when,in a society marked by seculariza-tion, it instructs the faithful to givespace to God and to be open to thetranscendent.”The Pontiff lauded the founda-tion for their work in promotingsocial doctrine, saying it “responds to the most profound expectations of man, and your commitmentto further it and spread it is a valid contribution to build the ‘civilization of love.’”
The Centesimus Annus Pro Pontice Foundation was founded by Pope John Paul II in 1993. As a lay
foundation, it aims to promote the social doctrine of the Church in professional and business sectors.
VATICAN CITY, May 21, 2010—Benedict XVI warmly thanked Rus-sian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill for a concert celebrating the Pontiff'sApril birthday and anniversary of election.Beyond his words of gratitude to the Orthodox leader, the HolyFather used the occasion to promote harmony between East andWest, particularly in light of Europe's growing distance from itsChristian roots.The concert Thursday featured some of the great works of 19th
and 20th century Russian composers. It closed with "Song of the As
-cension," a symphony composed by a leading prelate in the RussianOrthodox Church: Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev of Volokolamsk,chairman of the Department of External Affairs of the MoscowPatriarchate.
The Pontiff reected that the concert opened a window to the
"soul of the Russian people and with it the Christian faith, which
nd an extraordinary expression precisely in the divine liturgy and
the liturgical singing that always accompanies it."Benedict XVI, himself an accomplished musician, noted the"profound original bond" between Russian music and liturgicalsinging."In the liturgy and from the liturgy is unleashed and begins toa great extent the artistic creativity of Russian musicians to createmasterpieces that merit being better known in the Western world,"he said.
Pope points to music as harmony of East and West
Drawing a deeper meaning from the concert, the Bishop of Rome
afrmed that in music there is already a certain fulllment of the
"encounter, the dialogue, the synergy between East and West, aswell as between tradition and modernity."Citing Pope John Paul II's appeal for Europe to breathe with
its "two lungs," the German Pontiff reected that "contemporary
culture, particularly European culture, runs the risk of amnesia, offorgetfulness and, therefore, of abandonment of the extraordinarypatrimony fostered and inspired by the Christian faith.""The Christian roots of Europe, in fact, are constituted not only byreligious life and the testimony of so many generations of believers,but also by the inestimable cultural and artistic patrimony, pride andprecious resource of the peoples and countries in which the Christianfaith, in its different manifestations, has dialogued with cultures andart, has animated and inspired them, fostering and promoting asnever before the creativity of the human genius," he said.
The Pope afrmed that these roots are still alive in East and West
and "must inspire a new humanism, a new season of authentic hu-man progress, to respond effectively to the numerous and at timescrucial challenges that our Christian communities and our societiesmust face, beginning with secularization, which not only leads todoing without God and his plan, but which ends by denying humandignity itself, in a society regulated solely by egotistical interests."
"Let us make Europe breathe with its two lungs again," the Pontiff
urged, "let us again give a soul not only to believers but to all peoples
of the continent, let us promote condence and hope again, rooting
them in the age-old experience of the Christian faith!"
BRUSSELS, Belgium, May 20, 2010—The
Bishops of Belgium have apologized for ag-gression against victims of sexual abuse andfor the inadequate support they received.In a pastoral letter, they pledge "concretemeasures" to prevent further abuses.The message, which was delivered by wayof a pastoral letter to the Belgian Church,was released within weeks of the bishops'
visit Vatican for their "ad Limina." One of
the subjects the Belgian bishops discussed
with the Pope and Roman Curia ofcials was
sexual abuse against minors.In the letter to the Belgian faithful, thebishops addressed the "serious damage" to
the condence between priests and the faith
-ful which was caused by the "shockwave" ofBishop Roger Joseph Vangheluwe's resigna-tion on April 23 over his admission that hesexually abused a boy.Emphasizing that "the safety and protec-tion of children takes priority over anything
Belgian bishops apologize for treatment
of abuse cases, vow changes
else," they acknowledged that Church of-
cials did not fully realize the "extent of
the child abuse tragedy and its tremendousconsequences."With this silence, the reputation of theChurch institution and of her ministers hasbeen placed ahead of the dignity of youngvictims," they stated.“We ask forgiveness of all abuse victimsfor the aggression and for the inadequate
support they received. Likewise, we ask for
forgiveness both from the relatives of the vic-tims and from society for the consequencesof such abuse," the letter said."The abusers got a second chance, while
the victims carried in their esh the injuries
that cannot or can hardly heal," it said. "Wethank the victims who found the courage tobreak through this wall of silence by tellingwhat happened to them."The Belgian Church leaders added thatthey hope that "the path of reconciliationwill still be open to us" and noted that this"crisis" forces those with responsibility inthe Church to “face the problems, call themby their name, and address them with thecooperation of competent persons."The bishops pledged to take action toconfront the situation through "concretemeasures, with the support of Benedict XVI.”They also vowed to create more stringententrance requirements for candidates tothe priesthood, to commit themselves toproviding effective supervision and supportto pastoral workers and to draft a code ofethics for those who work with children orvulnerable adults.The letter closes with a message of grati-tude for those who work within the Churchfor a "more humane and just world" and
a prayer that the Holy Spirit give them
"enough wisdom and courage to build a
church that reects the genuine love of God
to men."
BANGKOK, Thailand, May
24, 2010—Lay Catholics were
among some 3,000 Bangkok resi-dents who helped clean up themess left behind after red shirtprotesters were dispersed from acentral commercial district.“The recent tragedy gives rise toa sense of hopelessness among all
Catholics join Bangkok’s post-riot clean up
Thais but we cannot despair,” said
Sittichai Trisopha who is active in
various Church organizations.“It seems like a nightmare,” hesaid. “We must learn from thistragedy and pain. This must nothappen again. The governmentand red shirts must dialogue.”He was speaking on May 23during a clean up operation ofareas occupied by the protest-ers. The Bangkok MetropolitanAdministration organized theclean up.Arsonists and rioters left manyareas in downtown Bangkok inruins on May 19, after red shirtleaders announced an end totheir occupation of a centralcommercial district.
Sittichai, who came with his
family, said he invited at least 15other lay Catholics to take part inthe clean up.“The roads and the buildings
can immediately xed but we do
not know how long it will take to
x the wounded hearts and minds
of the people,” said Parinda Vapi-kung, from the Catholic Commis-sion for Justice and Peace, whoalso took part in the clean up.
She said the reconciliation pro
-cess must continue and pointedout that it is most urgent to“tackle poverty and inequality,”
the root causes of the conict.
Catholics are a small part ofThai society “but still we cando something for the country,however small.”
Bangkok Governor Sukhumb
-hand Paripatra told the volun-teers, “This is a time to rebuildBangkok and the country. Thepsychological recovery fromthe recent violence may takelonger than the rehabilitation ofthe city.”More than 52 people have beenkilled in political violence sinceMay 14, and hundreds morehave been injured, according toThai media reports.
   ©  w  w  w .   t  o  p  n  e  w  s .   i  n
Russian OrthodoxPatriarch Kirill
   ©  w  w  w .  r   f  e  r   l .  o  r  g
SHANGHAI, China, May 24, 2010—Catholics in
mainland China prayed on May 24, the day dedi-cated to prayers for the the Church in the country,although many were unable to visit the popular
Sheshan Marian shrine in a Shanghai suburb.
The number of pilgrims has not returned to thelevel before Pope Benedict XVI issued his letterto Chinese Catholics in June 2007 dedicating
the feast of Our Lady, Help of Christians as thespecial prayer day and mentioning the Sheshan
shrine in particular, say local sources.This was because the government-sanctionedChinese Catholic Patriotic Association and Bish-ops’ Conference of the Catholic Church in Chinahave issued notices since then discouragingcross-province pilgrimages during the Marianmonth of May, the sources say.This year’s notice said that as the World Expo
is currently taking place in Shanghai, Catholicswho wish to go to Shanghai should follow the
arrangements set by their provincial CatholicPatriotic Associations and local dioceses and then
get approval from Shanghai diocese.
Mainland Catholics pray for China Church
“These so-called ’arrangements’ actually meansforbidding pilgrimages,” the sources said.A priest in a southeastern province told UCANews his parishioners have wanted to make a
pilgrimage to Sheshan for more than three years
now.He and other clergy in various parts of main-land China have decided to hold Masses andother devotions in their parishes on the prayerday.About 3,000 local Catholics gathered at
Sheshan on May 24 to celebrate the shrine’s
feast day.Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Xing Wenzhi of
Shanghai presided at the prayer session and
procession, and at Mass at the shrine’s Minor
Basilica of St. Mary.
Pilgrims prayed for the Church in China, theWorld Expo, and victims of disasters.In Rome, Pope Benedict mentioned the day
of prayer at his reection following the middayRegina Caeli at St. Peter’s Square on May 23,Pentecost Sunday.
 Vol. 14 No. 11
May 24 - June 6, 2010 
CBCP Monitor
News Features
World needs real Christians inpolitics and society, says Pope
VATICAN CITY, May 21, 2010—Pope Benedict XVI addressed the role of the faithful in politics during
an audience with members of the Pontical Council for Laity on Friday. Not only are true Christian
politicians needed for true societal and political change, he said, but a greater need exists for the laity
to exercise their inuence in the social and political realms.
The audience with the Pope took place with members of the council, led by its president Cardinal
Stanislaw Rylko. They council is currently holding its 24th Plenary Assembly, which is focused on
“Witnesses of Christ in the Political Community.”Developing on the theme of the three-day assembly, the Holy Father said that it’s in the hands ofthe faithful to provide a concrete witness to the faith in the social, cultural and political spheres. Theymust witness to the fact “that the faith enables them to read reality in a new and profound way, andto transform it,” he said.The lay faithful participating in political life must act “in a manner coherent with the teaching of theChurch,” said the Holy Father, as they bring solid reasoning and “great ideals” into the democraticdebate.Their presence should be made known by their efforts to build a consensus among those who defendlife and freedom, protect truth and good in families, assist those in need and seek the common good,the Pontiff explained.It’s a “demanding challenge,” he noted, referring to the situation of present day democracy, whichis weakened by “the spread of a confused cultural relativism, and of a utilitarian and hedonistic indi-vidualism” that “favors the dominance of strong powers.”In light of this, “There is a need for authentically Christian politicians but, even more so, for lay faith-ful who bear witness to Christ and the Gospel in the civil and political community.”The Pope further explained that, although the “technical formation of politicians” is not part of theChurch’s mission, she reserves the right to “pass moral judgment in those matters which regard publicorder when the fundamental rights of the person or the salvation of souls require it.”He invited the action of all Christians to “recover and reinvigorate authentic political wisdom, to be
demanding in what concerns our own sphere of competency, to make discriminating use of scientic
research, and to face reality in all its aspects, going beyond any kind of ideological reductionism orutopian dream.”We must “show we are open to true dialogue and collaboration ... never forgetting that the contribu-tion of Christians can be decisive only if knowledge of faith becomes knowledge of reality, the key to judgment and transformation.“What is needed is a true ‘revolution of love,’” he remarked.Pope Benedict concluded by inviting the new generations to take part in political life with “a com-mitment founded not on their ideologies or the interests of a few, but on their choice to service manand the common good, in the light of the Gospel.”
VATICAN CITY, May 20, 2010—The sec-retary for the Congregation for the Clergy,Archbishop Mauro Piacenza, said this weekthat celibacy, which was embraced by Christthroughout his whole life and to which allthose who consecrate their lives to Church
are called, signies “total dedication to the
service of God and man.”In an interview with the Vatican newspaper
L’Osservatore Romano, the archbishop re
-vealed details about the closing of the Year ofPriests and spoke about Jesus' life of celibacy.Christ’s state of virginity, ArchbishopPiacenza said, “was united in full harmonywith his mission as mediator between Heav-
en and earth and as eternal priest. The Son
of God took on human form and entrustedhimself completely to the Father, giving Himthe total and exclusive love of his own heart… Virginity is part of his very essence.”“Christ is virginity itself and therefore heis its model,” he explained.
Reecting on the Church's requirement
of celibacy for priests and religious, thearchbishop noted, “There are certainly manyreasons why celibacy is convenient, bothhistorical and biblical, spiritual and pastoral,
 Vatican ofcial reects on
celibacy, reveals closingevents of Year for Priests
but above all it is essential to adhere to thesource of everything, Christ himself.”
Closing of the Year for Priests
In explaining the events for the closingof the Year of Priests scheduled for June
9-11, Archbishop Piacenza said the rst day
would be dedicated to conversion and themission of priests.
“We will gather at the Basilica of St. Paul
Outside the Walls, where following theexample of the Apostle to the Gentiles, wewill meditate on the dimension of permanentconversion in the life of the priest and on the
sanctity and efcacy of his mission.”
The second day “was originally planned
for the Basilica of St. Mary Major, but the
great number of priests who have registered,now nearly seven thousand, will not haveenough space in the Marian basilica so we
will be at St. Paul’s again. The idea is to meet
together in a renewed cenacle, as apostlesgathered around the Blessed Virgin Mary
awaiting the Spirit.”
The closing Mass on Friday, June 11, willbe celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI.
(CNA/  EWTN News)
VATICAN CITY, May 19, 2010—A life dedicated to prayer, peni-tence, and conversion will overcome the threats, dangers and horrorsthat mark human history, Pope Benedict XVI said.
Our Lady of Fatima invites everyone to trust in God, experience
his grace and "fall in love with him—the source of love and peace,"he said during his general audience May 19.
Speaking to about 13,000 people in St. Peter's Square, the pope
detailed some of the highlights of his May 11-14 trip to Portugal.He said the voyage was "unforgettable" and represented "a touchingexperience for me, rich with many spiritual gifts."
The trip allowed to pope to pay homage to Our Lady of Fatima
when he visited the Marian shrine marking the site where threeshepherd children witnessed a series of apparitions beginning May13, 1917.
"The demanding yet comforting message Our Lady left at Fatima
is full of hope," the pope said.He said Mary calls everyone to a life of "prayer, penance and con-version, which surpass the threats, dangers, and horrors of history."
She invites humanity to have hope "in God's merciful love and trust
in his saving plan, which triumphs over the threats and calamitiesof history," he said.The pope recalled that during an encounter with Portuguese par-ish groups and Catholic organizations, he called on the faithful toserve Christ and promote the common good.In fact, he said, at Fatima many young people experience theimportance of serving the needy because the shrine is "a schoolof faith, of hope, and also a school of charity and service to one'sbrothers and sisters."The pope said he encouraged all lay faithful to evangelize theplaces where they live and work and plant the seeds of hope.Christians have the duty to give witness to the Gospel so that
"every situation of difculty, suffering or fear may be transformedthrough the Holy Spirit into an occasion for growth and of life," he
Prayer, conversiontriumph over life’sthreats, calamities,pope says
MANILA, May 22, 2010—An environmental group called on the
government to speed up the investigation of the series of killings andviolence that targeted anti-mining advocates in Buguey, Cagayan.Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), a network of environmental and humanrights groups also asked for a stricter implementation of peace andorder in the province to protect anti-mining leaders from violence.
“We have already recorded ve deaths of anti-mining activists
within the span of six months since November last year,” saidATM national coordinator Jaybee Garaganera.
The recent victim of violence was San Lorenzo barangay liasonofcer Adamson Arellano, who was shot in the leg and foot byunidentied men on May 17.
“Arellano is lucky to have escaped death. But it is not the same
for the ve anti-mining activists who have already died from the
brutal killings while their respective families have yet to claim justice,” Garganera saidFula barangay captain William Arzadon died instantly on May 15,
when unidentied men peppered him with bullets while riding his
motorcycle on his way home in Buguey.
Conrado Buenaor, another anti-mining advocate was shot by anunknown gunman in front of his own house in Barangay Leron onMay 9. Buenaor was a member of the Citizen Action Unit (CAU)and head of Task Force Lapu-Lapu, that monitors shoreline miningand illegal shing activities under the leadership of Buguey Mayor
Ignacio Taruc. He died in the hospital four days later.Gensun Agustin, one of the leaders of the anti-mining civil societygroup Alliance of Buguey Community Development Advocates (Al-bucoda) and member of the Federation of Anti-Mining Advocates in
Groups ask govt for quick probe of anti-mining advocates’ killings
Cagayan (Famac) was gunned down last March 1 while on his wayhome after delivering a lecture on mining impacts in Buguey.Anti-mining advocates Pedrito Tabaco and his brother-in-law
Alfredo Rabit were shot down by unidentied men while ridingtogether in a motorcycle on their way home in Barangay Leron
Buguey on November 30 last year.Mining in Cagayan is a hot political issue. The recent electionin Cagayan has been the battleground between the pro- and anti-mining candidates.“Right now we fear for the lives of other anti-mining local of-
cials and activists, who remain strong on their position against
mining operations in the province especially in Buguey,” Gar-ganera said.
“Arellano, Arzadon, Buenaor, Agustin, Tabaco and Rabit were
all known strong supporters of staunch anti-mining Buguey mayor
Ignacio Taruc who recently ran against the son of Senator Juan
Ponce Enrile and another contender for the House Representative
seat in Cagayan rst district,” he explained.
According to Comelec results Taruc got only 40.42 percent ofthe total votes in the Congressional race against 56.23 percent of Juan Ponce Enrile, Jr.“We seek for government’s action to fast track investigations ofthe recent shooting of Adamson Arellano and killings of William
Arzadon, Conrado Buenaor, Gensun Agustin, Pedrito Tabaco
and Alfredo Rabit,” Garganera said.“We also ask government law enforcement authorities to imple-ment stricter measures to keep the peace and order in the Cagayan,especially in Buguey,” he added.
   ©   R  o  y   L  a  g  a  r   d  e   /   C   B   C   P   M  e   d   i  a
Archbishop Mauro Piacenza
   ©   4   t   h  e  p  r   i  e  s   t  s .  w  o  r   d  p  r  e  s  s .  c  o  m   ©  w  w  w .  s   t   j  o  s  e  p   h  s  -   b   i  r   t   l  e  y .  c  o .  u   k
MANILA, May 20, 2010—At least 42
skeletal remains were retrieved fromthe wreckage of M/V Princess of the
Stars some 70 feet below water leveloff the coasts of San Fernando townin Sibuyan Island, Romblon by joint
elements of the Philippine Coast Guard
(PCG) and the Public Attorney’s Ofce
(PAO) recently.Chief Public Attorney Persida V.Rueda-Acosta, in an interview said thevictims have the right to be buried un-der the soil with a name and not underthe sea.The Philippine Coast Guard underAdmiral Wilfredo D. Tamayo provideddivers to help the PAO staff and the
personnel of the salvage rm.
 Victims’ remains retrievedfrom sunken vessel
In a statement, Dr. Erwin Erfe, PAO’s
Forensic Laboratory Director said they
have in their possession 85 human skel-etal remains, all victims of M/V Princess
of the Stars that sank last June 21, 2008.
Before the end of the month, the PAOForensic Team assisted by PhilippineCoast Guard divers and the Royal Jes-san Petromin Resources, Inc., will re-trieve the remaining 400 human skeletalremains still trapped in the wreckage ofthe ill-fated inter-island vessel.The current 85 human skeletal remainsand the expected 400 remains about to beretrieved will all undergo detailed osteo-logical (bone) examination to establish
each and everyone’s skeletal prole and
determine one’s ancestry, age, sex, heightand handedness.
“This skeletal prole will be compared
with the ante-mortem data or physicalcharacteristics provided by relativesand heirs of the victims,” Erfe said in astatement sent to CBCPNews.He said they will also utilize forensicphotography using the latest techniquesin ultraviolet and infrared visualiza-tions to analyze the physical evidenceassociated with the human skeletalremains which may include clothing,bags, jewelry and documents.“We expect these methods to gener-ate more information about the victims’identities,” he added.Erfe said the head of the NBI Disaster
Victim Identication team refused to
comply with the court order issued
in 2009 to turn over all identication
records and physical evidence to theCebu Regional Trial Court.Had it not been for the NBI’s refusal
to turn-over identication records and
physical evidence, Erfe said, the exhu-
mation, retrieval and identication of
victims could have been made sooner.
“At the PAO Forensic Laboratory, we
are determined to gather the necessaryante-mortem data from the victims’ rela-tives,” he said. The victims’ relatives arerequested to provide information abouttheir missing kin by calling PAO Foren-
sic Laboratory at 9299436 or through
email at paoforensics@yahoo.com.phErfe said they hope to begin the turn-
over of identied skeletal remains on
 June 21, 2010, in time for the maritimetragedy’s second anniversary.Meanwhile, Immaculate ConceptionParish rector Fr. Aristeo B. Royo saidhe welcomes the retrieval operationslaunched by the Public Attorneys Of-
ce, Philippine Coast Guard and thesalvage rm.
Royo, parish priest for nearly a year
in San Fernando town, said the retrievaloperations and eventual identication
would help the relatives who have beenat a loss since the tragedy struck almosttwo years ago.“With the use of forensics, this projectis a welcome development,” Fr. Royosaid.
(Melo M. Acuna)

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